A dog-walker was repeatedly stabbed during an early-morning attack in the Christchurch suburb of Bexley on Monday morning, police say.
The man's family found the victim critically injured in Bexley Park at the Pages Road entrance at 6.20am.
His dog - which was unharmed - had gone home without him, prompting his family to look for him, police said.
"The man was walking his dog when he was attacked," detective inspector Nicola Reeves said.
Reeves said it did not appear to have been a targeted attack.
There is no suspect of this stage, she told Checkpoint.
The man was conscious when he spoke to family, but police have not been in a position to speak with him
Officers have been going door-to-door in the area talking to people.
"Today, we've had quite a large team of police in the area who are door knocking at our residences and any businesses in the nearby area, asking if anybody's seen anything, do they have any CCTV footage, we have collected some from nearby," she said.
The dog has been examined in case the animal stratched anyone and could hold DNA evidence or clues to the attack.
"We don't know what the motivation is. We don't know, in terms of if he was targeted, why he was targeted. I guess this is where we are appealing for the public to help us piece together what has happened to our victims," Reeves said.
Police are stepping up patrols and are following a number of enquiries to work out exactly where the man was stabbed and the events leading up to it.
They want to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area overnight, particularly from 4am.
"Investigators are following strong leads, however we would encourage people to be mindful of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to 105, or to 111 if it's urgent."
Motorists with dashcams who were in the area of Pages Road or Anzac Drive around this time were also urged to review their footage.